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The Autism Awareness Gala designated U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., as a congressional honoree earlier this month in recognition for his years of work on legislation to help those with autism and their families.

“It is truly an honor to receive this award. I have worked on legislation related to autism for many years because I believe that it is important that we find solutions to improve the lives of children and families affected by autism,” Enzi said. “I want to thank the community of individuals with autism, their families, and the many folks who come together on their behalf to bring autism issues to the forefront. I truly appreciate how this community comes together to work with me and my colleagues to raise awareness on this issue in order to improve the lives of people with autism spectrum disorders.”

As a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Enzi has worked with his colleagues on legislation to ensure that there are effective programs in place to meet the needs of people with autism and their families. He was Chairman of the HELP Committee and a co-sponsor of the Combating Autism Act of 2006 – the first law passed by Congress that uniquely focused on autism spectrum disorders. Enzi was also a lead sponsor of the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act in 2011 and the next reauthorization of the law, named the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support (CARES) Act.

The annual event is hosted by the State of Qatar in partnership with Autism Society of America.